A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Random Pitching Thoughts

So here we are 43 games away from the end of the season. Only two teams in the NL have team ERAs under 4.00 and the Mets are one of them (heading into last night's action anyway). They are second to only the San Diego Padres. They Mets have not been a product of their homefield either as they still own a 4.00 on the road and a .251 BAA compared to a 3.87 ERA and a .239 BAA at home. The Padres on the other hand are sniffing 4.00 on the road and 3.12 at home which is just a huge disparity.

The Mets also have the second lowest OBPA behind San Diego with .317 and the third lowest SLGA with .395. They are ninth in the league in homers allowed, but that is not really a huge surprise with the flyball pitchers the Mets have in their rotation.

In regards to the rotation, the Mets are fourth in the leage in ERA with 4.17 and have a .245 BAA. More importantly though, their four main starters have a 3.62 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP with Glavine posting the highest in each category. If you look at the Mets top three starters, they have a 8.10 K/9, 1.18 WHIP, and a 3.38 ERA. If a team had one starter with that line, they would be happy. The Mets have three starters who have been extremely solid so far this season.

The New York bullpen is second with a 3.47 ERA behind only San Deigo's who has a 3.06 ERA. Of course in the playoffs, the top starters and the top relievers are most vital. The Mets top four relievers currently own a 1.04 WHIP, 8 k/9, and a 2.58 ERA. Heilman has worked his ERA down to 3.60 and Sosa has looked great out of the bullpen. Even if you add Mota into the mix, the WHIP is 1.10, the ERA is 3.10, and the K/9 is around 8.

Of course many people are down on Mota, but the guy still owns a 97 mph fastball and could still be useful. Homers kill relievers as they are in for such short amount of time and one homer has devastating results. Mota's HR/9 is 1.41 and if you compare that to his 0.93 career HR/9 rate of 1.00 last year, you'd have to think Mr. Sample Size is playing a part in Mota's horrendous showing. His walk rate is actually better than normal (however slightly) and I have to believe that he has not been as bad as his numbers dictate.

We've spoken about his approach and leaning on the change-up too much and I think there is still a shot the '06 Mota surfaces that helped out the Mets pen late last season. Also, I think it bears noting his .2 inning, six run outing and two three run outings when he first returned are heavily skewing his numbers. While that still shows he has the propensity to blow up, he still has the tools and with him it has always seemed like a mental thing. I'm still holding out hope the Mets will have five or six dependable relievers.

The Good
NAME               ERA   DIPS  ERA+
Billy Wagner 1.55 2.62 270
Pedro Feliciano 2.76 3.40 151
Joe Smith 3.03 3.73 138
Orlando Hernandez 3.12 4.22 134
Oliver Perez 3.46 4.19 121
John Maine 3.53 4.03 118
Aaron Heilman 3.60 3.99 116
The Mediocre
NAME             ERA   DIPS   ERA+
Brian Lawrence 4.09 3.55 102
Aaron Sele 4.12 4.34 101
Jorge Sosa 4.15 4.38 101
The Ugly
Name               ERA  DIPS  ERA+
Tom Glavine 4.25 4.92 98
Scott Schoeneweis 5.06 4.92 82
Guillermo Mota 5.40 4.11 77
What does all this mean? Well, it reinforces the belief that the guys we think we can feel comfortable in have performed well enough that should actually feel comfortable with them. With the Exception of The Duque, no one is really overachieving and The Duque isn't overachieving by all that much. He's been money for the Mets this year, but I think we all know he is not a 3.12 ERA guy and more of a 3.75 to 4.00 ERA guy, which is not a bad thing. I'll trust The Duque any day of the week.

As for Sele, the guy has been...well...average. He has actually been pretty good and has filled in his role as well as could have been expected (of course he had to blow up as I wrote this). Lawrence has also been a nice surprise in his two starts giving the Mets league average starts and a chance to win and that is all you can ask out of your fifth starter.

As for Glavine, he has been a below league average pitcher this year and you hate to rain on the 300 win parade, but he has been laboring. An ERA+ of 110 is nothing to really brag about and below 100 is pretty bad. $10 million could change one's mind rather quickly, but I think Glavine is going to retire gracefully this year. As for Mota, his DIPS ERA suggests he has not been as bad as his statline would seem to indicate and expect a better finish for him.

Overall, I feel pretty comfortable with this Met rotation if the bats can continue their resurgence.

* * *

  • ROTOwire news blurb of the day:

    Lowry (forearm) had a successful return to the rotation Monday, holding the Pirates to two runs over seven innings to pick up win No. 13 on the season.
    Spin: Lowry allowed six hits, walked five and struck out three after leaving his last start with forearm tightness last week. His 3.28 ERA despite a 1.46 WHIP and 79:77 K:BB ratio defies logic and explanation.


  • Eric Byrnes is awesome.

    "Safe," Byrnes said, emphatically. ``But I would have called myself out. It's got to be a no-doubt, 110 percent safe at that point of the game if [the umpire is] going to call me safe.

    "He pitched a no-hitter. He deserved it. He pitched his butt off. It would have been a shame if [the umpire] had called me safe on that play. But when I slowed it down [on tape] and looked at it, my foot was on the bag as the throw got there. That's the tie-goes-to-the-runner rule. If that's the rule, then I was safe. But as a baseball fan, I agree it was a no-hitter. He pitched a no-hitter."

  • Duaner is done for the season. A great trade turned into a blah trade in which neither side won. Of course the bright side to this is that the Mets retain control of him at this point through the 2009 season.

  • Draft pick deadline madness...

    Mike (Queens): Will the Mets sign Brandon Efferson?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) Not sure, because the Mets are staunch believers in sticking to slot. It's silly . . . I think they could get Efferson for under $500,000 and they have the money. And that might seem like a lot, but it's not. If you believe in your scouts, and you find talented players, the signing bonus is a pittance compared to what they can be worth.


    $500,000 for Efferson would be a steal and not a ridiculous sum of money. I truly hope the Mets do not drop the ball on this one.

    Jack (Clarinda, Iowa): Let me get this straight: the MLB -- in an effort to help small-market teams -- implemented these slot prices, and instead of helping, it has actually made things worse? That is funny, really.

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) Exactly. Except no one is laughing. MLB is angry that teams are breaking slot. Clubs are angry that the draft has become a hugely unlevel playing field. Agents are angry that the slots were arbitrarily reduced 10 percent this year.


    Which is sort of the point. The guys who were busting through MLB's wishes are the teams who have money and who are on top and a lot of the guys who were trying to behave were the teams in need.

    Jake (Baltimore, MD): What is the problem with MLB being mad at you? What can they actually do to punish you for going over slot?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Very little. Yell and scream. Threaten to hold back a perk like hosting an All-Star Game, but that happens once every 20-30 years for a club. Maybe give you less money from revenue sharing or the central fund. But nothing significant.


    It is entirely possible the Mets feel the need to be on the commissioner's side with their bid to host the All-Star game, but this is about winning games and not about hosting All-Star games, right? I mean the Yankees surely don't care and will flex their muscle to get everything they want. Sign Efferson over slot, leave a flaming bag of poo on MLB's Park Ave doorstep, and get ready to have the All-Star game.

  • Pedro update:

    For three innings, he looked like the Pedro Martinez of old. He had good velocity, solid command, and according to one observer, Martinez was "making them look like A-ballers." Which, in fact, his opposition was. Martinez's second start in went relatively well, despite losing his perfect outing in the fourth when he started "playing around." Martinez had upper 80's velocity in the first inning, and went to 80 pitches if you include the ones he threw on the side after coming out. One noticeable thing is that he appears to have shortened his motion. If so, it's likely that he's still a bit tentative. The outing was a big positive for Martinez and the Mets, one that should put him on track to move up for his next start, probably to Double-A, and probably this weekend. Coming up with a real timeframe for his return to the Mets is still unclear, but it looks like it should happen during August. From what we saw today, Martinez can help the Mets, but I'm less sure that he can be a difference maker.

  • While there are some that fret about Milledge's miscues in the field and what would happen to him in the playoffs, I would just point to Shawn Green and his fielding mishap against the Cardinals and a horrific play on a Scott Spezio triple. Of course Scott Spiezio and triple should never be in the same sentence so if you are a bit hazy on the play itself, that should paint a picture for you.

    The bottom line is the more he plays the more he gets comfortable and the better he will be. It seems as though he will be getting more playing time which is definitely a good thing as it is plain to see he adds a spark to this club. What is weird about Milledge is he looked smooth out in center but tends to be a bit bad with his reads on the corners and more so in right field.

    Milledge has the ability to cover up the mistakes he does make with his speed and for what it's worth, these are the types of things that will help Milledge later. A ball slicing into the corner is not something he normally sees in center and the more exposure he has to those types of hits the better he'll be. The balls come off the bat differently when you are in right, center, or left, but it is certainly something that he should be able to adjust to which basically tells me it is about just getting more time to get comfortable and nothing to get truly alarmed about.

  • Within the above link it says that Burgos is starting to toss the ball. Not that I think he will give the Mets much this season since they just did not see enough of him to entrust him in vital spots, but it is worth noting. As long as he is on the DL come September 1st, he is eligible for the post-season roster should they actually need to use him.

  • The Yankees lost a tough one against the Orioles 6-3 in ten innings. A few thoughts on the game:

    1) Eric Bedard is rather nasty. Not that you needed me to tell you that, but I'm just sayin'...
    2) Shelly Duncan should hold off on the curtain call thing if he ties the game up. Hitting the go ahead run? Maybe. The tie run? No...does this kid curtain call on grounders in which he moves people over too?
    3) Michael Kay's head is still extremely scary and I applaud his mom for being able to pass that head through her birth canal.
    4) Mo left some fat pitches over the plate in the tenth and did not look sharp at all. The Yankees need him to be on point as they have little room for failure.
    5) Phil Hughes looks hittable right now, but showed flashes of being sick. His curveball is extremely good and he just looks like the throws the baseball with no effort.
    6) Joe Torre is still an ugly man.

  • How far were the Orioles and Wieters apart? About $5 million. I was shocked the deal got done for $6 million and the Orioles were dangerously close to not signing their second first round pick in four drafts.

  • Good win by the Mets and it is good to see their bats finally waking up. They weren't the cleanest two games I have ever seen, but the Mets are up 2-0 and are going for the sweep tomorrow with Big Brian on the mound and with the Braves matching the Mets win for win, they need to just keep pounding on this very bad Pirate team.
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    18 Comments:

    Anonymous benny said...

    Mota is a very aggravating guy, its pissing me off, I have no idea what the hell is wong with im. He's throwing in the mid to high 90's. His changeup looks decent.
    Is it his pitch slection when he throws to guys? I dunno. He does seem to throw the changeup before his fastball and he throws his changeup ALOT!
    Whatever, regardless he's aggravating.
    I'd like to see Joe Smith come back up. Who would he replace though?

    The moral of the story is that the Mets starting and bullpen pitching is the reason I have confidence in the Mets. The Braves and Phillies? They wish they had what we have.

    Joe Torre is a very disgusting man. Ugh.
    Michael Kay is such a douche.
    I know I've said it before but I have to repeat it, Shelly Duncan looks like Timmy from South Park.
    SHELLEY!!!

    2:31 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What they're saying, whoever "they" are, is that Mota makes enough mistakes (leaving balls up in the zone, etc.) that opposing players just sit and wait on them. Then they jack the pitches, and ruin Tom Glavine's 300th win, and make his wife cry.

    5:47 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    dropping the slot amounts for draftees whilst revenues have roughly doubled is not good policy. the mets should do what's right for them, and i second leaving the flaming bag of poo at the mlb offices.

    i didn't see the game last night, because i was at the james taylor concert. when that happens, no baseball is allowed, not even on the radio. it's nice to see the mets going for the sweep today, even if it's with brian lawrence on the mound. you can never trust people who have two first names, so don't trust shelley duncan either.

    9:01 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny,

    Not only is his change decent, but there was an article out the other day citing it was one of the best in regards to BAA when he throws the change-up. Which is weird because I thought the problem was him leaning on his changeup too much just like he did with the Indians last year. His homers are too far up and he really hasn’t lost stuff so your guess is as good as mine.

    Smitty has to have a place to comeback into. It’s shit or get off the pot time for someone and as much I think Mota still has good stuff, it may very well be him.

    Shelly does look like Timmy.

    Anon, which is kind of the point. His stuff is there, but it seems like a mental/execution thing. Not getting his pitches where he needs them to be and not throwing the right pitches on the right counts. His fastball isn’t Billy Koch straight and he should be an effective pitcher. He better turn it around because the Mets owe him some decent coin next season and you know they’ll try wait until next September for him to get it going.

    9:08 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Never trust anyone with two first names? I thought it was never trust anyone who was named after a state....or is it both?

    9:09 AM

     
    Anonymous kranepool said...

    Great point on the bullpen and Mets pitching all around. I post today on how Randolph needs to get on track with a rotation that lets the releivers know thier roles. By the way, Where in the Wrold is Pedro Feliciano?

    Michael Kay and the rest of the ass clowns on the YESH telecast will never measure up to Keith, Ron and Gary NEVER EVER!!!!

    11:26 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Good to see you back in the game again.

    Pedro has been getting ridden like an 11 year old Vietnamese boy and needs some rest. With what happened to Smith after his overuse, I'm sure Randolph gets the message that you cannot just thrust guys into 80+ innings when they simply are not used to it.

    If he wants Feliciano around later then he needs to rest him today.

    11:32 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    screw you guys.

    sincerely,

    James Clifford Montana

    12:54 PM

     
    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    "I would just point to Shawn Green and his fielding mishap against the Cardinals and a horrific play on a Scott Spezio triple..."

    YES! We should never forget. This image is burned in my mind. Even though he hit, I blame Green as much as anyone for the playoffs last year, rightly or wrongly.

    Even though LM might as well patrol the outfield on a pogo-stick, his catches are so ugly,I remember Greenthumb's demoralizing fielding and all is forgiven.

    12:58 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Green did a faceplant into the right field wall and looked like a helpless child that never saw a flyball before.

    That was a huge deal at the time and quite possibly the turning point.

    Rule of thumb #1: Never sacrifice defense for marginal offense. Of course the Mets did not have much of a choice in the area of right field, but they do now.

    1:21 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    mota: not sure why you guys seem surprised/confused. every article you read about pitchers and steroids talks about how more than anything they help your confidence. he's no longer jacked and therefore no longer fearless.

    i was distracted last night managing the tightest itunes library ever.....so please correct/refresh my memory....but i'm pretty sure green made had about three embarrasingly bad at bats then got yanked late in the game for milledge. i'm not sure if that would be considered a standard defensive or offensive substitution (neither really makes sense if you go by willie think) but it seemed to me like willie was so disgusted he benched green in the middle of the game. anyone know what was going on there?

    good post, mike. after the other day when we were trashing the bullpen and discussing negative/optimistic outlooks, i remembered or heard that the mets bullpen still has the second best era, which made me feel even more sanguine.

    the mets are awesome.

    2:08 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    mota: not sure why you guys seem surprised/confused. every article you read about pitchers and steroids talks about how more than anything they help your confidence. he's no longer jacked and therefore no longer fearless.

    Then get Henderson to offer some fake ones.

    You would be correct in your thoughts that Green had three embarrassing at-bats….but wait! He went 4 for 4 a week ago….Milledge couldn’t do that. It would seem that Willie’s gut told him to put Milledge in because Willie told him to be ready go tonight and subsequently Milledge said he was ready to go.

    Yes…positive posts for everyone! I could sense that I was leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth with my negativity so I decided to change things up a bit. We will resume with negatively slanted posts tomorrow.

    2:38 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Omar or Ray Ramirez should give Mota some placebo pills.

    I mean I already know we have Joe Smith but how does everybody feel about B.H. Kim for the bullpen as a righty specialist?
    His career numbers suggest its a good idea.
    A .216 batting average against with a .295 OBP against righties for Kim. Its all about outside the box thinking baby and instead of making him a closer give him the Chad Bradford role. the ROOGY!

    2:43 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    First off, Milledge came in for Delgado, who was hurt - Green shifted to 1B, where he is starting tonight.

    Also, if you listened to Willie on Mike & MD, he basically said that Lastings would get the majority of the ABs going forward, with Green getting enough "to stay sharp".

    Benny - Originally I was all for signing BK as a potential ROOGY... then I rememebered all the big HRs he gave up in playoffs against the Yanks. At least one came from a RH, Brosius. Frankly, if BK couldn't get Brosius out in a big spot in his prime, I'm not sure I am going to trust him year later as a marginal pitcher on this team in the playoffs. I know that's not even close to fair, but...

    - Anon

    5:27 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny, If Smith can comeback and a starter gets put into the pen, we are pretty well covered. I’m not sure there is a glaring need for him.

    Thanks for the info Anonymous poster. Always good to hear from you.

    6:04 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Duaner Sanchez is the dumbest mother fucker on planet Earth, and should not be paid a single cent of this season's salary.

    Fuck him and that douche bag he was riding around with in the cab that night.

    10:55 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I don't post here often anymore... maybe that's why the Mets are playing so badly. I'm not sure.

    One thing i'm sure of, though, is that if Josef Stalin were the GM of the Mets, he'd walk out to the mound after the walk to Freddy Sanchez and destroy Mota with a fully loaded AK-47 from point blank range.

    No. Wait. I'm wrong again. Joe would have done that right after the positive drug test.

    I'm done with Heilman. If he isn't traded after this year, i'll be shocked.

    Emad

    11:40 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hands down, the worst, most stupid game of the year. Wow...just wow. I will be in shock if this Mets team wins it all this year.

    Anthony

    12:20 AM

     

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